With wedding season officially upon us, we’re here to make the case for (gasp!) wearing the same dress as a guest to multiple weddings.
Now, we know weddings seem like a good reason to buy a new outfit, but when you’ve got 10 on the calendar, it can get a little pricey. Between the gifts, travel and possible hotel stays, weddings already tend to take a toll on our bank accounts.
Re-wearing a dress not only saves money, but it also eliminates the frustration of finding something new to wear. After all, men recycle their suits all the time without issue. And if outfit-recycling is OK for the Duchess of Cambridge, it’s definitely OK for us.
If we’ve learned anything about being wedding guests over the years, it’s that our outfit isn’t all that important. Sure, you want to look nice, but unless you’re the one getting married, the day isn’t about you.
So, take a note from the former Kate Middleton’s handbook and recycle your dresses. Add a few new accessories and change your hair, and no one will even notice. Whether you’ve RSVP’d to two weddings or 20, you can probably find one versatile dress that’s suitable for most (or all) of them.
To show you what we mean, we’ve styled one dress ― the $51 navy blue cami wrap midi dress with tie waist from ASOS ― four different ways. It’s a midi-length, which makes it suitable for both formal and more casual ceremonies, and the wrap dress silhouette is flattering on a variety of body types. (You can find similar frocks at Everlane and Diane von Furstenberg.) But these are merely suggestions: You can choose any colour ― aside from white if you’re an etiquette traditionalist ― and style you feel comfortable in.
A Traditional Wedding
For weddings that are on the traditional side, we’d suggest opting for your Sunday best. Pair a dress with high or low heels, some simple jewellery and a nice clutch. If the ceremony is in a place of worship that requires you to cover your shoulders, you can go for a kimono-style shawl or an open front jacket with some decorative embroidery.
NORDSTROM, MADEWELL, ASOS, ZARA, NORDSTROM
DETAILS: Botkier mule sandals; Madewell gold tone chain necklaces; Zara embroidered jacket; Leith resin handle clutch
A Formal Wedding
You might think formal weddings require floor-length gowns, but as etiquette expert, Diane Gottsman told HuffPost in 2018, these days cocktail-length dresses are equally acceptable. To fancy things up, try a metallic strappy heel, sparkly statement earrings and a classic red lip.
TARGET, L'INTERVALLE, M.A.C., ASOS, SHOPBOP, ESSIE
DETAILS: Clear acrylic clutch; L’Intervalle silver stiletto sandals, M.A.C. Ruby Woo lipstick; Deepa Gurnani drop earrings; Essie nail polish in Imported Bubbly
A Garden Party
If you know you’re going to be outside, especially in a grassy area, you’ll probably want to find a heel that’s a little more substantial than a straight-up stiletto. Something a little chunkier won’t easily dig into the ground. To keep things fresh and light, add some color with your makeup and accessories.
DSW, NET-A-PORTER, BITE BEAUTY, ASOS, J.CREW, O.P.I.
DETAILS: Mix No. 6 sandals; Cult Gaia acrylic clutch; Bite Beauty lip stain in Strawberry Frozé J.Crew floral hoop earrings; O.P.I. nail polish in I Just Can’t Copecabana
A Beach Wedding
Sand and heels are definitely not friends, so we’d suggest going for a nice, flat metallic sandal that doesn’t look too casual. Add some summery accessories, like a trendy wicker clutch and tassel earrings, as well as your sunglasses, and you’re good to go.
DETAILS: Aldo sandals; Quay Australia sunglasses; J.Crew wicker clutch; Straw boater hat; Baublebar earrings; Sally Hansen nail polish in Grey Dreaming